Try Croacia's website - they're a Brazilian sound production company. If you use Chrome as you're browser - try it out. It's an interesting idea. It kind of says - don't judge us by our graphic design.
What do you think? Your opinion speaks volumes.
BMW have pushed technological and engineering boundaries with their new i8. It is a thing of wonder and beauty.
The ads they have created to launch the vehicle are old school pretension personified though.
They have been directed by well known film director Gus Van Sant. But having a marquee name at the helm seems to be something of an indulgence - the direction is tired and overly stylised - maybe made with the famous director app - phoned in.
There have been commercials in this genre in the past. When Nissan launched their luxury brand in the US they produced enigmatic poetic spots that defied the conventions of the day (narrative and meaning) with enigmatic imagery of skies and grass blowing on dunes (forgive me if the details are sketchy - I only have my memory to work from).
Of course showing a car frozen in gridlock is a grim reality, even for the most technologically agile vehicle, but it would make for a very dull commercial. The job of a brand commercial isn't to sell you the realities of the product. In fact it probably isn't to sell you anything. I have a feeling that prospective buyers of the new i8 are already either on the BMW USA database or they have been infiltrated with product exposure at some event or other with Gaga or Justin …… at the wheel. No, the purpose of the ad is to make the people outside the VIP tent, the rest of us at the the back of the plane to admire your vision, taste and access to credit.
The stirring soliloquies of the model actor's, representing the model in question swirl with heady, lyrical nonsense - never mind miles per gallon or finance rates, never mind the 'chermann' engineering - this vehicle, meine freundlings, is for us - we ubermensch who do not sit in traffic, who glide effortlessly across the dreamscapes of our lives against a bokeh backdrop of floating lights.
You'll note some clever details. No, not the gull wings - though gull wings are indeed clever details. In the commercial the vehicle makes a muted, throaty burr as its muscular haunches flash past the lens. Do you see what they did? The car is a hybrid - its claim to fame isn't its lightweight frame - it is a heavyweight commitment by one of the biggest car manufacturers in the world to sustainable energy. It is a hybrid. But to persuade luxury buyers that that car has cred and is as now as it is tomorrow they play the sound of a muscle car - this is today's Mustang - running wild and free - liberating its owner from the conventions of their workaday lives setting it apart from yesterdays men. You just plug it in next to your hair straightener at night.
The car is mighty. I love it. I'm looking forward to more and more innovation in car design. Hopefully it will be followed, at some stage in car advertising whose progress is as glacial as Auckland traffic.
And now for something completely different....
For years I though that Ray Eames was a man. She was half of the remarkably prolific creative duo Eames Studio who, with her husband Charles became icons of design in the mid 20th Century. Ray was an accomplished painter and textile designer in her own right and as part of the Eames duo she and her designer partner husband refined furniture and architecture - in fact they experimented in so many fields from graphics to exhibition design that their accomplishments and influence are the stuff of legend.
Another design partnership who's co-star is usually overwhelmed by casual sexism is Lella and Massimo Vignelli. I always thought of the pronouncements of Vignelli to be those of a sort of design Il Duce - feet astride and arms folded expressing his manifesto
Both the Vignellis and Eames pairs had long and distinguished careers, which raises the matter of age and creativity. The myth tends to assert that advertising and design are 'a young man's game'. Where this notion comes from I can't imagine - probably from young men. There is much to be said for experience in creative industries. Innovation and novelty are all well and good - but they aren't necessarily the things that will connect with the customers you are writing or designing for. One of the by-products of having a lot of young people innovating away is that they are often performing to impress their peers. It doesn't just lead to weird juxtapositions of styles as they try to out do each other but it also leads to a kind of creative entropy. It all starts to look and feel the same - trendy.
The psychologist Jung talked about how people get to a stage in their lives when they realise who they are and stop seeking the approval of others. I have an unproven theory that runs in parallel to this - young people are biologically conditioned to sexual display - so things have to be bigger, better, faster, cooler (just ad -er) to the end of any adjective. To -er is human. So when people have had families and settled down (no not in the suburbs - hormonally) their heads clear. AT the same time time has allowed them to hone their craft and view other human beings as something other than prospective mates or threats. From out of the haze comes a kind of clarity. Massimo Vignelli stopped searching for the hippest fonts to use in his ads a long time ago - in fact he thought you'd be just fine if you stuck with a dozen you would be fine (by his own admission he was being generous with the numbers because he was being interviewed on St Patricks day).
This blog is a notepad of contemporaneous and sometimes extemporaneous thoughts about creativity, strategy and ideas.